Is a full scale taxi war at hands in Mbekweni? This is the question being raised after three Mbekweni taxi drivers were gunned down in separate incidents within just one week.
The first incident took place last Tuesday (24 September) shortly after 07:00 on the corner of Tobacco and Tuck Streets near Paarl Mall. According to police spokesperson, Captain Louise du Plessis, it is still unknown why Desmond Khojwayo (49) was shot dead.
“Police officers on the scene said the deceased was found dead in the driver’s seat of his taxi with multiple gunshot wounds,” Du Plessis explains.
• Shortly after Khojwayo’s death, another man, believed to be taxi boss Xolani Vabaza (37), was shot dead at his home in eNkanini Squatter Camp, Mbekweni – also on September 24 – at 20:30. According to information, the wife of the taxi boss, whose identity cannot be revealed, was also injured during the incident. According to Sergeant Nceba Vanqa, spokesperson of Mbekweni Police Station, the police found the deceased and his wife in the bedroom of their shack.
“According to the wife, they were inside their house when there was a knock on the door. When they opened the door, two unknown men entered the house and multiple shots were fired. Vabaza was hit in the head and died on the scene, and his wife was shot twice in her leg,” said Vanqa.
The emergency services were called to the scene and the injured woman was rushed to Paarl Hospital, where she is still recovering.
The two suspects are still at large.
• In the third shooting incident, a 57-year-old year old taxi boss, Zamukulunga Zondani, was also shot dead on September 30 shortly after 14:50. This time the incident happened in Jantjies Street between C-block and White City’s residential area in Mbekweni.
“On arrival of police on the scene, they found the deceased, who was from White City, lying on his back in a pool of blood,” says Vanqa.
Zondani was certified dead on the scene by ambulance personnel.
Vanqa says: “Zondani was shot twice in the head and once in his neck. Two live 9 mm rounds and four empty cartridges were found near his body.”
Police are investigating the possibility of a taxi war being the cause of these triple murders. No arrests have been made in any of the cases.
Anyone with information can contact or visit Mbekweni station commander or detective branch commander at 7 Sand St, Mbekweni. Or phone the station on 021 868 9900/05. All information is kept confidential.
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